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Kansas, Missouri lawmakers react to United Auto Workers strike, call for quick resolution

Many elected leaders offer support to workers
uaw strike politicians.jpeg
Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 19:41:51-04

CLAYCOMO, Mo. — Politicians representing the Kansas City area are calling on a quick resolution to the United Auto Workers strike against the three major American car manufacturers.

Politicians on the local, state and federal level have different opinions about what led to the strike, but they all want it to end.

The two assembly plants in the Kansas City region remained operational as the strike began at three specific facilities nationwide.

A strike at a separate facility could impact the General Motors assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas’ Fairfax industrial district. The Ford assembly plant in Claycomo, Missouri, is open for now.

“Right now, I'm gonna side with with the the UAW and hoping the strike could end soon,” said Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a democrat who represents Ford’s Claycomo plant in Washington D.C. “If it doesn't, it's going to have a negative impact here in the metropolitan area and none of us should want that.”

Cleaver has long supported unions. His son is currently on strike as a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He believes the UAW strike is all about equity.

“We've got to have an auto community in this country that is healthy and I'm willing, as as a member of Congress, to try to make sure they remain healthy," Cleaver said. "But I'm not going to try to do that at the expense of working class people."

Republicans at the federal level blame the strike on President Joe Biden.

They say his goal of having electric vehicles account for 50% of all new car sales in America by 2030 a mistake. They believe the requirement puts American auto manufacturers at a disadvantage.

“The Biden Administration must answer for its ridiculous push to force the country to adopt electric vehicles, which is yet again hurting working-class Americans,” Missouri Sen. Eric Schmitt said.

Sen. Josh Hawley, also of Missouri, shared Schmitt’s views.

“I support the workers in this and I hope that they get what they deserve,” Hawley said.

Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall said Biden’s electric vehicle goals take certainty away from UAW members.

Tyrone Gardner, the mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, said he values the 2,100 UAW members members in his city.

GM operates an assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

“I stand with them in seeking a swift and equitable resolution in the matter of both national and local concern,” Gardner said.

While there is no plant in Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas attended a rally for UAW members in Claycomo Sunday.

He said, “Fair wages, benefits, and respect are essential. We stand with you!”